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Coffee in Caracas

Un café con leche, por favor—that is: "One coffee with milk, please." And, if you're a fan of good coffee, you'll love café-hopping in Caracas. The local beans are top quality, the machines are almost all of Italian origin, and the technique is pure and simple. Listed below are a few of our favorite places to grab a cup of joe and some beans to take home—the ultimate souvenir or gift.

Arabica. Arabica is hands-down the best coffee in the city—it also may be the priciest. Choose from the delectable desserts, order a coffee, and sit outside to watch the world go by. The success of this location has led to the opening of three other coffee shops in Beverly Hills, Stanford and Palo Alto, California. Av. Andrés Bello, between Av. Francisco de Mirando and Tranv. de Los Palos Grandes, Altamira/Los Palos Grande, Caracas. 0212/283-7024. www.coupacafe.com/.

Las Nieves. Las Nieves is true old-school Caracas—the same baristas seem to have been pulling delicious, crema-topped espressos here for years. All of the high-quality pastries and goodies are made here: it's a true family affair. Parking can be a pain outside, but be patient, because it's worth the wait. Calle Pichincha, El Rosal, Caracas. 0212/952–0372.

St. Honoré. St. Honoré is near the fabulous store Casa Curuba and just across the street from rival café Arabica. This is less hip than Arabica, but just as well loved and scrumptious. Grab a cachito de jamón (a ham-stuffed croissant) and enjoy the friendly hubbub on the outdoor patio. These same owners opened up a bakery called Tisserie in New York City, at the northwest corner of Union Square. 1era Calle con Av. Andrés Bello, Altamira/Los Palos Grande, Caracas. 0212/286-7982. www.sthonore.com.ve.

Le St. Tropez. Le St. Tropez sits right across the street from a massive church in the Castellana neighborhood. The sweet owner serves up yummy couscous dishes on Thursdays, but the real draw here are the simple, fresh sandwiches, desserts, and pastries—not to mention the divine coffee. Av. Blandín, C. San Ignacio, Nivel Chaguaramos, Local CH2-22, La Castellana, Caracas. 0212/731–5629.

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